Posted by: marinvit | May, 2009

Growing Orchids

Orchids belong to the Orchidaceae family of flowering plants (Angiospermae), and is named after the genus called Orchis. Orchids are mostly found in tropical zones like Asia, Central America, and South America. They are also found in Southern Patagonia, Macquarie Island, above the Arctic Circle, and close to Antarctica. Orchids are group of plants with over 880 genera, and it is estimated that there are about 28,000 species of this beautiful flower.
orchids
Vanilla, one of the many orchid genus, is commercially used as flavoring for food. The underground stem of the Early Purple Orchid (Orchis mascula) is powdered and used for cooking in various ice creams and hot beverages. The scent of the orchid is often used by perfumists to discover new potential fragrances and perfumes.

Some orchid species may bloom twice or thrice a year, while few others bloom annually. These blooms often last for almost a month. Depending on the type of species, these exotic houseplants vary in size, color, shape, and scent. They are divided into two different basic growth types: the monopodial that grows in the form of a central stem from the tip; and the sympodial that has a rootstock and grows into a stem to produce flowers.

Growing orchids is usually considered very difficult. But once the requirements of these beautiful plants are understood, they are very simple and easy to grow. Orchids bloom regularly for years in proper climatic conditions and growing them can be a deeply satisfying hobby. Here are some beginners tips for growing orchids.

Tips for Growing Orchids

Watering: The most important factor in growing orchids is providing the right amount of water. They should be watered periodically, normally once a week. Many times, orchids are watered more than necessary. Most orchids have a very effective root system to store water and hence, do not need as much water as other plants. Two points should be considered while watering orchids. Firstly, water needs of the particular species should be taken into account and secondly, watering should be done only when the soil is dry. Usually, orchids planted in a clay pot with bark mix need frequent watering.

Humidity: Providing proper humidity is another significant factor, while growing orchids. Orchids require humid environment for its foliage to absorb water from the air, instead of watering, too much of which may affect the roots. When the climate is less humid, then either misting the plant occasionally or using a humidity tray to artificially increase the humidity level helps. While misting the plants is a good practice, one should be careful not to soak them, as it can cause bacterial or fungal diseases.

Fertilizer: The next factor to be taken into consideration while growing orchids is the use of fertilizers. A proper quantity of fertilizer needs to be used at least once a month in order to provide essential nutrients to the orchids. Their growth may be obstructed, if right the amount of fertilizer is not provided.

Temperature: Maintaining proper temperature is most essential for growing orchids. Normally, orchids grow well in home temperature. However, in order to bloom orchids need variation in temperature. Almost all orchid species grow well in temperatures ranging between 60°F and 90°F.

Lighting: Providing the right lighting is another important factor for successfully growing orchids. Orchids normally require medium light to grow. Placing these plants near a window, to get at least four hours of sunlight a day, is ideal. The color of the leaves indicates, if sufficient light is being provided to the plant. When the leaves on the plants are dark green, they are not getting sufficient light; and if they are reddish green, they are receiving too much light. The ideal color of the leaves should be bright green.

If you are planning to plant orchids at home, these beginner  tips  for growing orchids will be really helpful. One can easily nourish orchids at home and be rewarded with years and years of beautiful blooms.

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Responses

  1. Thank you! Your site was very insightful. I have the same Orchid that is shown above, a Vanilla. I was actually trying to find out when to cut the stem. Right now, on two of my plants, all the flowers have fallen off; is this a sign that I should cut the stem, or will new flowers bloom?

    Again, thanks for a great site, I’ll return to it periodically!

    Sincerely,

    Lorraine

  2. Wow, love this site! I am forever trying to learn what so many of my customers already know and this site is one i will bookmark. Thanks loads!

  3. Hello,
    Thanks for this information about orchids.
    Your readers can learn more about the care and culture of orchids at another WordPress blog:
    http://orchidsaliveinzone5.wordpress.com/


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